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Liver Enzymes

Liver enzymes are a commonly used biomarker to test the toxicity of a supplement, and are elevated in instances of fatty or cirrhotic livers. Their reduction in the blood is thought to reflect less damage to liver cells.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Jul 5, 2013
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect liver enzymes
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-b Notable Very High See all 5 studies
The decrease in liver enzymes associated with cholestasis is quite strong, and TUDCA is a reference drug for these effects
grade-b Notable Low See all 9 studies
There appears to be a notable decrease in both ALT and γ-GPT in persons with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) which may exceed 50% when vitamin E is supplemented above 300mg for half a year; there does not appear to be any influence whatsoever in healthy controls.
grade-b Minor Moderate See all 14 studies
No significant influence on liver enzymes associated with curcumin supplementation in most people, however, a small reduction is more likely in people with elevated liver enzymes.
grade-b Minor Low See all 5 studies
Similar to liver fat and damage, the levels of liver enzymes in serum appears to be reduced potently in preliminary evidence with the currently largest trial showing no significant influence; there may be a role, but it needs to be further elucidated.
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
No known influence on liver enzymes or other markers of hepatic health.
grade-b - Moderate See all 8 studies
Inconsistent and unreliable effects on liver enzymes, no significant influence is thought to exist.
grade-b - Very High See all 7 studies
No known influence on circulating liver enzymes, suggesting no liver toxicity in humans.
grade-b - - See all 3 studies
grade-b - High See all 5 studies
There may be a reducing effect in instances of liver damage (this curative effect needs to be explored more), and there are no alterations in liver enzymes that would be indicative of liver damage.
grade-c Notable - See study
In a model of liver fat in obese premenopausal women, fucoxanthin was fairly effective at reducing liver enzymes after prolonged usage
grade-c Minor - See study
More evidence is required to establish the potency of the hepatoprotective effects (with liver enzymes as a biomarker)
grade-c Minor - See 2 studies
One study has noted a 20% decrease in the ALT enzyme following garlic supplementation to otherwise healthy controls.
grade-c Minor - See study
Liver enzymes in a model of fatty liver are decreased with gynostemma ingestion
grade-c Minor - See study
In men with high triglycerides and cholesterol, the serum liver enzymes appear to be reduced suggesting protective effects at the level of the liver.
grade-c Minor - See study
ALP was noted to be increased in otherwise healthy women given the standard dose of hoodia, although the other liver enzymes were not affected significantly
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in liver enzymes has been noted in a model of hepatic encepalopathy, a per se reducing effect is uncertain
grade-c Minor - See study
A decrease in liver enzymes has been noted in persons with fatty liver given melatonin supplementation, although not to a remarkable degree
grade-c Minor - See study
Supplementation of picrorhiza kurroa is able to reduce circulating liver enzymes in acute viral hepatitis. While animal research suggests it is more potent than Milk thistle, the human evidence is not yet able to directly compare the two.
grade-c Minor - See study
In persons with elevated liver enzymes (not pathological, just metabolic syndrome) there appeared to be a protective effect on the liver from resveratrol supplementation
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See 2 studies
grade-c - - See study
Plasma concentrations of LDH are unaffected following citrulline supplementation
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Both studies using 300mg of either the fruit or seed extract have failed to find alterations in liver enzymes associated with supplementation.
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No detectable alteration in serum liver enzymes (biomarker of liver damage) seen with DHEA supplementation
grade-c - - See study
No significant alterations in any measured liver enzymes (ALT, AST, GGT)
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on liver enzymes when measured as a part of a safety test battery
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on liver enzymes noted
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on liver enzymes has been noted in toxicological testing with ganoderma
grade-c - - See study
In safety testing, there does not appear to be an adverse effect of glutamine supplementation on liver enzymes in serum
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence noted for liver enzymes when tested in part of a safety assay
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant alterations in serum liver enzymes are noted with HMB supplementation
grade-c - - See study
No adverse effects to the liver during human toxicology testing.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on liver enzymes assuming the water extract (WS1490) is being used
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on liver enzymes noted
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influences on liver enzymes have been noted in trials that assess them (safety reasons)
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on liver enzymes seen with PS supplementation
grade-c - - See study
Supplementation of pterostilbene in hypercholesterolemic adults does not appear to influence liver enzymes (ALP, AST) relative to control.
grade-c - - See study
Liver function does not appear to be significantly altered with supplementation of red clover.
grade-c - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influence on the liver enzymes of otherwise healthy persons subject to rose hip supplementation
grade-c - Moderate See all 3 studies
No significant rehabilitative effects on liver function in persons with impaired liver function, and no significant alterations in serum liver enzymes in otherwise healthy persons
grade-c - - See study
Supplementation of 100mg saffron extract for six weeks failed to increase liver enzymes in otherwise healthy persons.
grade-c - - See study
Pharmacological doses of niacin in obese dyslipidemic men do not appear to increase circulating liver enzymes, suggesting no hepatotoxicity.
grade-d Notable Moderate See 2 studies
Preliminary evidence suggests the reduction of liver enzymes correlates with the degree of liver damage somewhat, and this is notable since the reduction of liver fat seen is strongly effective at this moment in time.
grade-d Minor - See study
Study was in persons with HIV, although the magnitude was of concern it needs to be replicated.
grade-d Minor - See study
A decrease in liver enzymes has been reported
grade-d Minor - See study
In otherwise healthy men with no health problems, the mild reduction in lipid peroxidation seen was associated with a mild reduction in circulating ALP levels (6%) although AST and GST were unaffected.
grade-d Minor - See study
Has been associated with a decrease in liver enzymes (in steatohepatitis) but not to a remarkable degree; may simply be due to the L-cysteine content.
grade-d - Very High See 2 studies
In otherwise healthy persons, there is no significant influence on liver enzymes seen with supplementation.
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on liver enzymes
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study
Liver enzymes do not appear to be altered with supplementation of cocoa flavanols
grade-d - - See study
grade-d - - See study
Serum ALT is not affected by supplementation of PQQ for up to three weeks.
grade-d - - See study
In safety testing, supplemental Royal Jelly does not appear to increase liver enzymes
grade-d - - See study
No significant influence on liver enzymes during standard testing of safety
grade-d - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influence on liver enzymes in preliminary testing for possible toxicity
grade-d - See study
One study found a small increase in AST but not ALT
grade-d - - See study
No notable change in AST, ALT, GGT, or ALP in type 2 diabetics over the course of 4 months.